There is No Secret to Getting Fit

My Journey to Fitness

I ran my first 1/2 marathon today… sorta?

on October 25, 2013

One of these days I’d like to buy a bunch of ribbons, you know the ones kids usually get in a race with the little bit of cardboard on the back so you can write in your time?  I want to get a bunch and go to the local park that many runners train in and hand them out to people at the end of their runs.  Last week there was a girl (who happens to go to my fitness center) who ran 18 miles.  There was another person I know who did a 20 mile run, and another woman I didn’t know who ran 14 miles and she’s 13 weeks pregnant!  I’d love to stand there and hand out ribbons to these runners.  I love hearing their stories and getting motivated by seeing them accomplish their goals.  Many of the people doing runs at this park are training for a long run, and many of them (like me today) have never run as far as they did that particular day.  No one is asking for recognition, they’re just training for a goal.  But how fun would it be to get a little recognition?  A little motivational boost to say, wow, stop and take a look at what you did today!  You are pretty awesome!

This morning was my last day of building up mileage before the 1/2 marathon I am running on November 9th (in Disney!). My training plan called for 12.5 miles this week, but I really wanted to do the full 13.1 miles just so I know I can do it.  Of course, my long run last week was 12 miles, so I knew I’d be able to get in that extra mile and a tenth, even if I had to crawl it, but it’s nice to know I’ve done it.

I do my long runs at a local park that runs along the river.  It’s scenic, and best of all, mostly flat, which is very hard to find around here.  I had to flip my workout schedule around this week, so I did my long run alone this morning, which was actually quite peaceful.  There were a few other runners and walkers, but not like the busy Saturday morning I normally run.    The weather was also quite cold, only in the mid 30s by the time I finished my run.  I think the cold air helped with my pace because my body was numb, so the aches and soreness were numbed too.  This cold weather running might not be so bad after all!

I am still absolutely astonished and amazed at what my body is now capable of doing.  1 year ago, in October, I “ran” my first 5 miles in 1:10:17.  At that time, I wasn’t able to maintain a jog for the entire time, so I did some walking and jogging to get my miles in.   Part of the reason I would have to slow to a walk was to catch my breath.  I had asthma since I was young, but it had gotten much better as I got older.  It was mostly just affecting me when I was doing strenuous exercising or doing any physical activity in cold weather. As I continued to run and lose weight, running became easier, and so did my breathing.  I walked less, ran a bit faster, and eventually, I could run a full 5 miles without stopping.  I did most of my running on the treadmill.  I’d do the occasional outside run, but as the weather got colder, I had difficulty with my asthma acting up.

I hadn’t had a cold weather run since last winter, so it’s been quite a while.  At that time, I would have to warm up slowly and eventually, as I warmed up, breathing got easier.   As I said, I am absolutely astonished at what becoming fit has done for my health.  For the first time today, it was cold enough to see how my breathing was affected by the cold air.  I am thrilled to report that I had absolutely no asthma, no tightness in my chest or any difficulties at all with my breathing!  I was able to maintain a 9:54 average pace for the entire 13.12 miles that I ran.  This is huge to me and really shows what getting fit can do for your health.  The smaller clothes and the lower number on the scale are nothing compared with the changes in my health.  My blood pressure, resting pulse, cholesterol, everything is phenomenal and I am so happy I did this for my health, and for my family!

With all of that said, as I finished my “1/2 marathon” without the race bib, without the finish line, without anyone cheering me on, without the medal or photos or crowds of people.  I had a moment for me.  I had time to reflect on what I have accomplished, on all the people that have helped me along the way, on my family for supporting me, and on hopefully helping other’s begin their fitness journeys as I continue mine.  I joked that someone should be waiting at the end of my run today with a ribbon, because I just ran a freaking 1/2 marathon, but I think I liked the peaceful end to my run just as much.

13.12 trainingRun_10_25_13

At the end of my run, I asked a mom at the playground if she could take my picture.

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6 responses to “I ran my first 1/2 marathon today… sorta?

  1. glennie says:

    You’re pretty awesome!

  2. April says:

    Amazing job! Love that you do it for you and how it makes you feel!

  3. SMcMullin says:

    Woo hoo! You are an inspiration.

  4. MS_AimeeC says:

    You are an inspiration! Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to hear how the next week goes.

  5. sandra says:

    You are very inspiring!!!

    Since you enjoyed running the 1/2 on your own…you are definitely going to have a blast when strangers are cheering for you!!! There is nothing like it….a few years back I ran a 1/2 in San Francisco….it had a huge mile long hill….but it was freaking awesome!!!

    Good luck!!! Definitely let us know how you liked it.

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